General News of Sunday, 27 April 2008
Kumasi, April 27, GNA- Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, on Saturday commended former Tanzanian President, Mr Benjamin William Mkapa for his commitment to advancing the cause of his country and Africa in general.
He said in spite of the political and socio-economic challenges confronting the continent, it was encouraging that well-meaning Africans such as the former Tanzanian President continues to give hope to the continent by being devoted to strengthening democracy, freedom of speech, conflict resolution as well as entrenching civil rights and poverty reduction.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said this in an address delivered on his behalf by Nana Adu Gyamfi, Adontenhene, when Mr Mkapa paid a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.
The former Tanzanian President, who ended his two-term of office in 2005, was accompanied by his wife, Anna and an entourage, which comprised businessmen, technocrats and some former Ministers of State. The Asantehene said the time has come for African leaders to work hard towards improving the living conditions of their people by evolving prudent socio-economic policies and also demonstrate accountability and transparency in their work.
"We should always strive to promote the welfare of the masses instead of being engaged in activities and practices that impeded our progress", he said, stressing that this was necessary, since the destiny of Africans lied in their own hands and should as such work towards addressing their own challenges.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu expressed the hope that the former Tanzanian President would continue to share his political experience with other African leaders to help them adhere to good governance to benefit their respective countries.
Mr Mkapa lauded the Asantehene for his various initiatives and good leadership skills, which had seen a tremendous improvement in the lives of residents of the Asante Kingdom.
He pointed out that since his exit from the political scene; he had been active in conflict resolution in the Great Lakes region of Africa and also an active player in Regional Co-operation within the East African community and the Southern African development community.
Mr Mkapa, who is the third President of Tanzania since the country's independence in 1961, is currently co-chair of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa, an initiative supported by the European Union (EU), British Government, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.